Teaching Success in Keene

January 11, 2010

Keene, New Hampshire, a town of 23,000 people, is about 20 miles from SIT Graduate Institute and enrolls 3,787 students in its K-12 public school system.  Keene has two full-time teachers of English to speakers of other languages, both alumni of SIT, who were featured in Saturday’s Keene Sentinel (January 9, 2010).

Reading between the lines below, note the learner-focused approaches to teaching and, especially, the thoughtful and engaging integration of the students’ identities into their learning.  The teachers’ sense of delight in their serious work is obvious.

Culture club

Above, pupil Mann Patel works on his English skills in class Thursday at Franklin School in Keene. Below, teacher Morris Kimura works with pupils at the school.

Keene program helps immigrants adjust to region

By Sarah Palermo, 
Sentinel Staff

Published: Saturday, January 09, 2010

What did you have for breakfast? Read the rest of this entry »


English as Lingua Franca, 1

January 7, 2010

Do you know the term “lingua franca“?  Ginna Allison, a current student, reflects here on the subject of her teaching degree, English, and its prevalence in the world.  Undoubtedly, she will apply this learning during her teaching internship.  Note that she had one intention, but in the process of writing discovered her learning needed to shift direction.

While her statement was originally written for an academic purpose, her topic and admirable depth of research and reflection have applicability to all of us who use English as our everyday medium of communication.  This post is the first of two parts.

It has often been said that language is inextricably linked with culture. But what can one say about a single language — in this case, English — spoken natively or secondarily by people from scores of different cultures? In such a situation, there is no one culture that embodies the expression of the language. With so many cultures speaking English as a lingua franca, the idea of culture as an integral part of language becomes convoluted. Read the rest of this entry »

Alum Myles Grogan: Extensive Reading

January 4, 2010

Reporting to the general membership of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) in the December 2009 issue of The Language Teacher (vol. 33, no. 12), Myles Grogan (MAT 34, 2002) highlights the emergence of Extensive Reading in Japan.  At its first conference this past July, the newly created JALT Extensive Reading Special Interest Group attracted significant numbers of teachers.  The event was sponsored by JALT’s chapters in Osaka and Kyoto.

Read Myles’ article in the magazine if you are member of JALT.  Read more about Extensive Reading at the special interest group’s website.

By all accounts a very successful conference, SIT congratulates Myles on his vision and hard work!

Slowing Down the Moment of Transition

December 31, 2009

Marshall Brewer

Slowing down the moment of transition from 2009 to 2010 can be done in several ways.  An advantage is that doing so can help make the emotional experience of change less uncomfortable.

One way to slow down change is to examine it closely.

Blog on Break

December 24, 2009

Boyce House on the SIT Campus in Winter

The semester has ended and students have gone.  Beginning today, SIT will be closed through the rest of 2009 and reopen again on Monday, January 4, 2010.

How was your 2009?  What are your wishes for 2010?

President Adam Weinberg: Looking Back, Looking Forward

December 21, 2009

World Learning President and CEO, Adam Weinberg

In preparation for the exciting developments ahead in 2010, World Learning, SIT Graduate Institute’s parent NGO, recently unveiled a newly-refined mission statement:

World Learning works globally to enhance the capacity and commitment of individuals, institutions and communities to create a more peaceful and just world.

For more than 75 years, we have been committed to creating a more peaceful and just world through education, training and exchange programs. Read the rest of this entry »

ESL Certification: Intern’s View

December 17, 2009

Colleen Garrett

The Fall 2009 intern at Brattleboro Union High School, Colleen Garrett, describes the value of her education.  Like magic, the transformation that takes place during supervised teaching requires insight, practice, and close attention.  Unlike magic, transformative learning changes the changer.  Note how Colleen is different as a result of her experience.

PART TWO – The Intern’s View

The Value of the Internship

Working with such experienced and knowledgeable cooperating teachers as Ana Rawson and Jenn Course has been an amazing tool for developing my understanding of ESL teachers and learners in the US. I already have several years of EFL and museum teaching experience, so my SIT learning Read the rest of this entry »

Teacher Training Institute

December 14, 2009

For many years, SIT has offered courses that support professional development of people working in settings of intercultural learning and with critical global issues.  The Teacher Training Institute, which takes place online in the winter and spring, and on campus in June, is one such example.

Who should come?  SIT alumni, teachers in any discipline and teaching context, teacher trainers, supervisors and mentors of teachers, and other professionals who wish to deepen their practice will find advantage in these online courses.  Please note that a completed application must be received two weeks prior to the start of the course.   Contact details below.

Winter 2010 Online Courses

It’s in winter the form of the tree is visible.

1.  Supervision: An Educative Process

Faculty: Jack Millet

Supervision is teaching.  It is a process of educating.   Read the rest of this entry »

ESL Certification: Cooperating Teacher’s View

December 10, 2009

Ana Rawson

Ana Rawson, MAT 19 (1988), is interviewed here by Colleen Garrett, MAT 40 (2008), whose previous posts have been quite popular.  Directing her school district’s teaching of English to speakers of other languages, Ana also holds several other distinctions, including representing the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union to the WIDA Consortium. Besides her own ESOL teaching, Ana teaches SIT’s ESL Certification course, Advocacy in US Public Education.

In addition to being her teacher in the Advocacy course, Ana works with Colleen daily during the internship as an on-site peer and resource.  This critical and special role of Ana’s is called that of a “cooperating teacher.”

PART ONE – A Cooperating Teacher’s View

  • What were the most valuable parts of your MA in Teaching from SIT?

Colleen Garrett

One of the most valuable parts of my experience at SIT was the opportunity for reflection on my own cultural background, and learning to see this as a strength in my teaching. Read the rest of this entry »

Alumni Respond to Faculty

December 7, 2009

Alumni respond to the update letter from faculty.  Note the strong, loyal feelings expressed here.  (Notes have been edited lightly for reasons of confidentiality.)

Read the rest of this entry »